Shutdown showdown: Crisis-to-crisis governance the new norm?

Earlier this year, it was the debt ceiling. Before that, it was a constutional challenge to President Obama’s signature healthcare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (known as “Obamacare”). Before that, it was a rumors of a Kenyan muslim socialist faking his birth certificate in an elaborate conspiracy to somehow turn the nation into a Communist hellscape.

We’ve heard them all before from Republicans in the House, particularly the TEA Party caucus. Today, the obstructionists tactics of this group in the House has finally brought the government to a complete standstill.

Already, Fox News is trying to rebrand the shutdown as just a minor hiccup, calling it a “Slimdown.”

Their logic? Well, if the “non-essential” personnel are non-essential, why do we need them in the first place? Polling shows the vast majority of Americans aren’t in favor of the shutdown, and most of us are blaming the Republicans.

Admittedly, it’s a difficult time to be a GOPer. They lost the last presidential election, couldn’t control their party’s message and  none of their 40-something attempts to repeal Obamacare have gone anywhere. Yet, the party still persists in their fanatical obsession  over Obamacare — but, they really don’t have anyone to blame but themselves.

The Republican Party, the party that brought us “legitimate rape,” “binders full of women,” and a plan to build a giant metaphor for xenophobia between us and our neighbors to the South, just don’t seem to get it.

Unfortunately for them, they courted crazy. When crazy didn’t do the trick, they doubled down and went even further to the right, and now they’re paying for it.

The GOP’s courtship with TEA Party voters has entirely backed them into a corner, and after the 2010 census and redistricting, we may be stuck with them for the rest of the decade. See, Republicans love to talk about “State’s Rights” these days — and I’ll tell you why. It’s because they control the majority of state legislatures in this country. They can use the states to redistrict Congressional seats and manuver extremist policies into law.

When George W. Bush was in office (remember that debacle?), Republicans weren’t screaming about States Rights and they certainly weren’t going to tolerate anyone criticizing their fearless leader, who in a moment of what can only be described as nearly mythological hubris, landed on an aircraft carrier in a fighter jet and proclaimed, complete with giant banner, “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” only weeks into the Iraq War.

Their latest feat of hubris has been to close down major federal government services in a toddler-like temper tantrum over Obamacare.

This shutdown affects us all. USDA inspectors, OSHA investigators, public parks and services are all closed as the GOP holds a proverbial gun to the nation’s head over Obamacare.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) held a 21-hour psuedo-fillabuster last week shortly before the shutdown, in which he read Dr. Suess’s “Green Eggs and Ham,” with some minor changes he added himself.

“They do not like Obamacare,” he said. “They do not like it in a box or with a fox. They do not like it in a house or with a mouse.”

It’s worth noting that “Green Eggs and Ham” is probably about as high of a reading level Cruz can handle, so we won’t cite him for that. What we will cite him for is apparently failing to comprehend what the book is about. “Green Eggs and Ham” is a children’s story about turning your nose up at something before you try it — which is exactly what the GOP has done with Obamacare.

While Republicans and Fox News, the nation’s most popular news source, continue to rail against the “Main Stream Media,” you and I here on planet Earth are just going to have to knuckle down for the long haul. These people aren’t going anywhere, and they’ve taken us hostage.

The crisis-to-crisis governance will continue until these wackos get the message, and we won’t be able to send it until midterms in 2014. Until then, buckle up



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